TRG Fights Hard at GRAND-AM Finale Tooele, UT (September 12, 2010)- Looking to finish the GRAND-AM season on a high, TRG fought hard in both the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask no. 16 and Continental Tire Sports Car...
TRG Fights Hard at GRAND-AM Finale
Tooele, UT (September 12, 2010)- Looking to finish the GRAND-AM season on a high, TRG fought hard in both the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask no. 16 and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races.
Starting from the back of the grid due to an off-track in practice, Steve Bertheau kicked off the full day of racing driving his no. 66 Sargent & Lundy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Rolex Series. Having run extremely strong in practice and running solid and consistent lap times, Bertheau's main objective was to keep the car on pace, and most importantly deliver a solid car back to his teammate, Spencer Pumpelly. With several key guests from his sponsor Sargent & Lundy on site, the pressure was on and Steve delivered.
"The guys worked extremely hard over night to get the car in great shape for today," stated Bertheau. "I knew my main goal was to keep the car on track and in good shape for Spencer, and I was really happy with being able to accomplish that. There was a lot of traffic out there, and we got through it."
Handing the car over to Spencer Pumpelly at the mandatory pit stop window, Spencer immediately took to the task of trying to improve position and move up field. Popping off quicker and quicker lap times, Pumpelly proved the strength of the car by repeatedly setting fastest lap times.
Unfortunately, some untimely cautions and being split by the pace car, prevented Pumpelly from being able to get to the front in a timely manner. The team handed the car back to Bertheau to finish the closing stint of the race and the race season and his sponsors witnessed him driving a flawless final stint, eventually finishing 13th.
For Team Owner Kevin Buckler, the team can walk away fully aware of the strength they've shown in 2010, winning more races than any other team and bringing a number of drivers through their development ladder.
"I think overall this was a successful weekend for our Rolex program," stated Buckler. "We all really wanted to take care of our new partners at Sargent & Lundy, and I really hope they had a great time. Steve did a great job of driving and was a terrific teammate this year. Spencer did a fantastic job as usual. At the end of the day, the guys did a great job and we still finished the season with more wins than anyone else in the GT ranks, so I'm very proud."
In the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, the team came in to the race with a lot of confidence on what they could accomplish. Returning to the team after his podium finish at Daytona, Steve Miller re-joined the no. 41 James Farrell & Co./Colo Logistics Porsche 911 GT3 in pursuit of another great run.
Following a solid qualifying position, Miller made immediate work of the cars in front of him, making several strong passes and pulling off some of the best lap times in the race. Understanding that he too needed to keep the car in good shape before handing over to his teammate, Spencer Pumpelly; Miller ran a solid first half of the race keeping the car within striking distance before giving over to Spencer on a timely yellow.
"The guys did a good job with the car today," stated Miller. "We were doing our best to pick off positions one by one, which is a bit difficult at this track with some of the higher horse-powered cars, but it was a solid stint."
Taking the reigns on a one-stop strategy, Spencer immediately made work of the field, peeling cars off one-by-one, finally getting the car up to eighth position with only minutes remaining in the race. However, following a late yellow with only four laps to go, the re-start proved treacherous, with Pumpelly getting hit hard from behind and eventually being forced to retire.
"Miller is a really tough race for Porsches," stated Pumpelly. "The car was really good and Steve and I were both driving to the limit, we just struggled with some of the V-8 cars today. The last restart got a bit crazy, and eventually I just got hit from behind and couldn't continue."
For Team Owner Kevin Buckler, the team can walk away with a solid feeling on the weekend, and look forward to 2011.
"Our GS guys had a pretty flawless weekend, it's a shame that it had to end the way it did. Watching Steve Miller hop back in the seat and run those super competitive lap times with the leaders was really cool. Ultimately everyone should be proud of how it went, and with some season long highlights such as giving Steve Bertheau his first win and some terrific drives by Spencer and everyone on the team, we know our Continental program is as strong as ever. Next year will be even better."
With the 2010 season over, the team will regroup for 2011, with some scheduled testing sessions for the team and drivers as well as a number of big announcements on the way.